Since founding their own label/group Transmission Collective earlier this year, Maru, Wolf Cub and Kahwe have been rolling out brilliant production after brilliant production and establishing themselves as a formidable force in the UK’s increasingly retro-leaning house scene. With groups like Disclosure and Bicep storming the charts, one has to ask if there is any point in referring to this type of house music as “90’s” or “retro” anymore? As a response to the garish, blow your load, synth-heavy shit on the radio, this more organic sound has become prevalent in the “underground,” otherwise known as anything not played on the radio. I don’t have a problem with noting that these artists are influenced by the past, but at this point, it seems a little bit demeaning to confine them into such a rigid structure. Rant over.
Anyways, the label’s first release, the Lex EP, was released in October and featured all three crew members collaborating. Porta Alpina is the label’s second release and comes as a Maru solo production, although it also features Wolf Cub and Kahwe remixes so take that with a grain of salt. “Porta” is centered around an low-hung vocal sample from Floetry’s “Say Yes”. Everything about the track, from the vocals to the euphorically warm synth washes, exudes a tactful sexiness, disguising a particularly propulsive kick drum. “Alpina” is built on a laid-back garage rhythm and deep organs and while it doesn’t reach the peak-iness of “Porta” it functions especially well as a slower paced B-Side. Kahwe and Wolf Cub’s remixes aren’t anything to write home about, allowing Maru to really take center stage. Expect to hear “Porta” is sets from some big names and stream below.